THE FORUM, LONDON
LET'S not mess about. Tricky is a man bigger than his music. He's a face,
an image, a mask. It's far easier to compare him to writers than past musicians.
Which, to his credit, implies that there are still traces of individuality.
|makes it worse
is the fact that "Angels... " (named after a classic James Cagney film,
incidentally) is solitude music which, tonight, just doesn't carry live.
Sure, I feel lonely, but mostly I'm bored. No visuals, very little movement
and no cold chills like he used to provide live.
"Christian Sands" sees the Trickster slipping straight into his head-rolling routine, a sight akin to Prince Naz warming up, but from then on in, it's staid, unchallenging, uninspiring - the very antithesis of what Tricky should be about.
The Tricky head tic soon turns to full-blown Tourette's with "Analyse Me", but the band plod along like any number of free-festival dub outfits. Martina's voice is momentarily uplifting, but it's soon dampened with another rock-out of wah-wah guitars and tom-tom beats. "Broken Homes" and "Ponderosa" are erm... interesting, in fact, every song contains at least 20 seconds of brilliance, but halfway through the set things become thoroughly boring, formulaic and predictable.
Tricky's shamanic warble often delves into the land of nod, a dead man talking. Or maybe that's the point? Is he living the life he sings of? If you exist in a permanent state of fear and disgust, are you reduced to a murmur? Do you lose your voice fhe way moles go blind from lack of sunlight? Is it all a big con? Who knows.
Whatever; the Tricky milk has soured and left a bad aftertaste. As a kid, milk always left me gagging and puking - tonight it's not even such a violent reaction, just a mildly (mind) numbing poison.
photo: Steve Hall
from: Melody Maker, 30. May 1998